SEC Recap: Florida Sweeps LSU; Georgia Tops Arkansas

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo

Florida was led by Emma Ball who broke the LSU Natatorium record in the 100 Back, once in the leadoff leg of the 400 Medley relay. The No. 19-ranked Gators defeated the Tigers 196-104 on Friday as they competed in the first SEC meet of the season at LSU.

Ball, Vanessa Pearl, Mabel Zavaros, and Bella Garofalo combined for the nation’s fastest time in the 400 Medley Relay, with a time of 3:40.59. Ball’s time of 52.53 as the lead-off swimmer set a new LSU pool record. Ball broke the record, which was previously held by former Gator NCAA record holder, Gemma Spofforth. Ball’s time is the second-fastest time in the nation this season. The team of Sherridon Dressel, Kelly Fertel, Georgia Marris, and Tori Bindi finished in second with a swim of 3:43.85. Dressel’s lead-off leg of 53.95 is the third-fastest time in country.

With a mark of 9:54.65, Leah Braswell won the 1,000 Free and set the fourth-best time in the country. Taylor Ault notched a second-place finish with a 10:00.38, followed by Nikki Miller with a third-place time of 10:08.21.

Mabel Zavaros, Fertel, and Bindi completed the sweep in the 200 Free. Zavaros led the field with a 1:50.19, followed by Fertel with a 1:50.22 and Bindi with a 1:50.30.

Ball won the 100 Back with her swim of 53.78. Sydney Sell claimed third with a time of 56.99.

Pearl notched another first-place finish when she won the 100 Breast with a 1:02.66. Layla Black added a third-place finish for the Gators with a time of 1:05.57.

Zavaros collected her second individual event win of the meet in the 200 Fly. Zavaros clocked a swim of 1:59.95. Hannah Burns earned a third-place finish with a time of 2:01.32.

Dressel posted the fastest time of the meet in the 50 Free, with a 23.42.

Brooke Madden recorded a third-place finish in the 1-meter with a combined score of 308.63. She collected a score of 331.73 in the 3-meter and placed third. Emma Whitner added NCAA Zone qualifying dives in both the 1-meter and 3-meter, with scores of 269.40 and 283.20, respectively.

Garofalo clocked a 51.14 in the 100 Free as she placed second.

Dressel added another individual event win, as she took first place in the 200 Back, with a time of 1:59.15.

In the 200 Breast, Pearl swam a 2:14.47, for a first-place finish. Burns placed second with a mark of 2:17.50. Black completed the sweep for the Gators, with a 2:19.33.

Ault, Braswell, and Miller added another sweep for Florida. Ault recorded the nation’s 10th-fastest time with a 4:52.21 in the 500 Free. Braswell earned second with a 4:52.37, while Miller added a swim of 5:00.45.

Mabel Zavaros tabbed her third individual event win in the 100 Fly with a swim of 54.40.

Pearl collected her third individual event win after a time of 4:13.32 in the 400 IM, which is the country’s fastest time this season. Fertel placed second with a 4:15.17, which is the second-fastest time in the nation this season. Burns made it another sweep for the Gators with a time of 4:19.71, for the sixth-fastest time in the NCAA this season.

Dressel, Ball, Kirschtine Balbuena and Garofalo combined for second in the 200 Free Relay with a swim of 1:33.38. Bindi, Marris, Celi Guzman, and Fertel recorded a time of 1:36.12 and placed third.

From the coaches – Head Coach Jeff Poppell

  • “It was another outstanding day of racing for our ladies against their first SEC opponent of the season.”
  • “We’re definitely in a much different spot than 2 weeks ago, more tired from some good weeks of training. However, it showed no effect at all on the effort and intensity at which everyone raced.”
  • “I thought our 1,000 and 500 freestyles were much improved over 2 weeks ago and our 400 IMs at the end of the meet were outstanding for the first swims of the year.”
  • “Emma Ball’s breaking of Gemma Spofforth’s pool record in the 100 Back was also a solid swim for this early in the season.”

From the coaches – Diving Coach Bryan Gillooly

  • “LSU was great today. They have a lot of talented athletes and Doug Shaffer is a great coach.”
  • “We improved a lot from where we were two weeks ago and were very competitive. We weren’t quite at our best yet, but at this point in the season that’s okay. LSU has set the bar pretty high for the SEC early in the season.”
  • “Brooke was very solid for this point in her training and we got another zone qualifier with Emma Whitner.”

Georgia beats Arkansas; Razorbacks sprinter shines

Nine first-place finishes lifted the University of Georgia women’s swimming and diving team over the Arkansas Razorbacks, 170-129.5, on Saturday at the Arkansas Natatorium.

Arkansas sprinter Anna Hopkin’s 50 free (22.29) victory set a new pool record, as well as made the NCAA “B” cut. She also won the 100 free (48.88).

Sophomore Courtney Harnish picked up right where she left off after an All-SEC, All-Freshman 2017-18 season, picking up a pair of freestyle wins for the Lady Bulldogs in Fayetteville. She was joined by freshmen Callie Dickinson and Olivia Carter, who provided two first-place finishes apiece in their collegiate debuts.

Arkansas took the first event in the 200-yard relay, until Harnish used the 1,000-yard freestyle to add nine points to the Bulldog total with a time of 9:52.98. Sophomore Olivia Anderson and freshman Maddie Homovich followed in third (10:0-4.29) and fourth (10:07.74).

Next, junior Jordan Stout and freshman Dakota Luther topped the 200-yard freestyle in order at first (1:48.73) and second (1:50.42).

Then, Dickinson debuted her collegiate 100-yard backstroke time in 55.79, producing a first-place finish for the Lady Bulldogs. Dickinson (1:58.15) won the 200 back.

In the first diving event, defending national champion Brooke Schultz placed first in the 1-meter with a 342.90 while Maha Amer finished second with a 298.80.

Schultz also took first in the 3-meter, just 7.28-points shy of tying the pool record she set last season, and Amer placed third with a score of 313.28.


Missouri defeats Vanderbilt

A total of 10 members of the Missouri women’s swimming program earned wins as the Tigers posted a 176-81 victory over Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference opener Saturday morning at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tenn.

Senior Annie Ochitwa led a contingent of 10 Tigers with event wins on Saturday. Ochitwa, Mizzou’s lone double winner of the meet, earned top honors in both the 50 free (23.69) and 100 fly (55.31).

Freshmen Audrey Guyett and Kayla Jones both notched their first collegiate wins against the Commodores. Guyett won the 500 free in a time of 5:00.25, while Jones took top honors in the 200 breast after a swim of 2:20.10.

Juniors Haley Hynes and Jennifer King split the backstroke events, with Hynes placing first in the 100 back (55.72) and King in the 200 back (1:58.81).